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Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the common questions members have asked about accreditation of prior learning.

Who is eligible to make an APL submission?

IIA members who are registered on either the IIA Diploma or the IIA Advanced Diploma who have at least five years’ experience working in internal auditing may make a submission. At least three years’ experience should be from the last five years. 

What are the entry requirements?

In addition to the requirement for five years’ experience, the standard entry criteria for the professional qualifications apply regardless of the route chosen. 

How do I apply for APL?

Candidates need to ensure that they are members of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors and registered on the IIA Diploma or IIA Advanced Diploma. They can then follow the process for making a submission.

What is the process for making a submission for APL?

Candidates are encouraged to study the detailed syllabus content for the modules before embarking upon a submission. It is important to be confident that you are able to satisfy the learning requirements for the chosen module or modules. Each module has been broken down into 16 knowledge areas relating to a section of the syllabus.

For each of these knowledge areas the candidate must provide evidence that they have the required learning by reference to appropriate documentation, activity, testimonials and other sources. An initial submission of two knowledge areas is required before continuing to ensure that your assessor is confident you are working at the right level.

Can I duplicate information from one knowledge area in another one?

Yes, students may copy relevant material from one section into another. However, care should be taken that the information copied is relevant to the knowledge area and sits in context with other information supplied. The overall submission for each knowledge area should be clear and coherent.

Is there a limit on word count?

For guidance, the recommended word count is an average of around 500 words (not including the evidence section) for each knowledge area and 8,000 overall. Excessive word count overall (more than 8,800) in the final submission will result in automatic rejection.

Students are required to include the total word count in each knowledge area. This is most easily done by pasting the text into Microsoft Word and using Tools/Word Count.

How should the sources of evidence be presented?

The sources should be presented in a clear, numbered list and items should be referenced for easy identification by both signatories and assesors. Further information is given in the guidance notes.

Do I need to complete all 16 knowledge areas for my final submission?

Yes, students should address all 16 areas. If they were not to do so then they would not be able to access all of the marks available.

How is the submission assessed?

Your assessor will look to match your evidence and reflective statements against the learning requirements of the syllabus.

Modules achieved through APL will not be graded other than either Pass or Fail. In order to achieve a Pass, students must demonstrate that they have a sound grasp of the required learning overall and are able to apply it to professional practice.

The syllabus for each module has been divided into 16 knowledge areas for convenience. For the purposes of assessment each knowledge area will be given equal weighting and will be assessed according to the following scheme.

How does this route compare with the more traditional study route?

The two methods are different ways of trying to assess the same learning to the same standard. It is not possible to say whether one is easier than the other, only whether it is more appropriate for an individual given their personal circumstances and preferences. Both are challenging and require a high degree of application and perseverance.

Can I make an application for a module via APL if I have previously failed an exam for the same module?


Can I mix modules achieved via exam, exemptions and APL towards the achievement of a full IIA qualification?


Can I sit the M4 Advanced Internal Auditing case study exam before I have completed the other three modules of the IIA Advanced Diploma?

Yes. There are no requirements to complete theory modules in amy particular order. However, we strongly recommend that the M4 Advanced Internal Auditing Case Study is completed after studying or applying for APL accreditation of the other theory modules.